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Enquiry frameworks

Enquiry frameworks

Schools Partnership Programme co-creates the conditions for genuine non-judgmental, trust-based accountability and collaboration within and between schools to take place, with robust peer review at its heart.

We believe that peer review must be guided by rigorous, research-based enquiry if it’s to uncover actionable new learning and ultimately drive impactful school improvement. 

Our Enquiry Frameworks provide this, giving form and structure to the pursuit of collectively identified lines of enquiry throughout the cycle of self-review, peer review and school-to-school support.

They cover aspects of school culture, practice and provision widely recognised by practitioners and researchers as vital to school development and improved outcomes for children and young people, with learning and resulting action always informed and driven by the school community itself. Developed with schools and our expert associates, SPP is based around four key areas of research and is continually informed by what we hear from the school and system leaders we work with.


Core enquiry framework

Our core enquiry framework is broad and includes all areas of school improvement, based on international evidence from high-performing systems. It carefully avoids judgement-based phrases, instead stimulating open, honest, solutions-focused conversation. The four themes are:

Our Impact: Pupil attainment, progress and learning

Looking Forward: Strategic direction

Looking Inward: What happens in the classroom?

Looking Outward: Building coalitions for improvement

Under each theme, we provide example ‘To what extent….’ questions that are selected and contextualized by the review team based on the circumstances of the review.

The phrasing of our enquiry questions is an important and powerful part of the framework. The host school agrees what ‘to a great extent’ would look like for them, in discussion with colleagues, building the engagement and agency of staff from the very beginning of the process. In this way, our approach empowers leaders and teachers, sets no limit on excellence and builds collective ambition and vision for improvement.


Focused enquiry frameworks

In order to be of most use to our colleagues in schools during the pandemic, we’ve also developed and tested focused enquiry frameworks this year based on the same principles. These have been created to help the SPP peer review community continue to tackle their most pressing challenges together, at pace, using familiar tools and approaches.

All schools and settings currently working with us, and those who have completed the programme in the past – SPP Alumni – can access and download all Enquiry Frameworks through the members area, free of charge.

Frameworks available:

Covid-19: response and planning – published June 2020

Recovery Curriculum: continuously reengaging and nurturing school communities this year and beyond, through the curriculum – published October 2020

Assessment and meeting of need: understanding and supporting the needs of children and young people as they arise – to be published February 2021

Tackling disadvantage: identifying and dismantling barriers to improve quality of education – to be published February 2021


National webinars

We are running free, termly open-access national webinars to explore the evidence base that underpins these frameworks and how peer review and the skills learned through SPP can help all schools in what continues to be a challenging year. All are welcome - please join us.

For details of our past and upcoming webinars, workshops and events, visit our Webinars and events page.

We'd love to discuss how using this framework can support your school at this time – get in touch.

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